I was reading today, and something jumped out of the page at me. I was reading 1 Corinthians chapter 13 and Paul is speaking to his audience about love. I enjoyed the reference that if he had the power to move mountains but did not have love, he was nothing (1 Corinthians 13:2). He also spoke about giving everything he had to the poor but without love he was nothing (verse 3). Paul then goes on to explain that love never fails (verse 8). However, what jumped out of the pages and grabbed me was when Paul made the statement that spiritual gifts can come and go but love will always remain.
Paul is teaching that love never fails. Our talents and abilities may come and go; however, we should be using them to glorify God and to advance His kingdom. Since God is love (1 John 4:8), everything that we think, say, and do should be founded on that love. Therefore, it will never fail. My wise wife always tells me that people will always remember how you made them feel instead of what you did for them. I believe her statement encompasses what Paul is trying to say to us all. If love is not the reason why you are moving mountains, then you should not move a mountain at all. The motives behind our actions is the key to determining if we should be using our gifts and talents.
If you are using your gifts and abilities to glorify yourself, you are not only fooling the people around you but yourself as well. Once people get what they want from you, they will soon be out of your life. However, if you spend the time to lay a foundation of love, and people know that love is the reason for what you do, they will always be a part of your life. Therefore, love is foundational for everything. Without love we are nothing because we are empty. We cannot call ourselves Christians and not love others as we should love ourselves (Mark 12:31).
So, I just want to pray with and for anyone reading this today. I pray that the same love that died on the cross, conquered death, and dwells within us all will overflow in our hearts. I pray with this love, we can treat others with the love and respect that we demand for ourselves. Amen.